I Stood Up, He Stood Down

I came across my fair share of bullies while I was growing up. I was always able to tolerate them, to a certain degree. On occasion there'd be a few bullies that just try to push things to a more violent degree. That happened on this one occasion which, I feel, was a turning point in my life that gave me more confidence to stand up to bullies.

The occasion occurred on a school day morning at the neighborhood bus stop when I was in the 6th grade. The bully in question was both the neighborhood bully and the school bully. He was one year older than me. He walked up to me and slapped me across the face. A seething rage built up in me and, with all the force of that rage, I punched him in the stomach. His eyes popped open wide, he turned, walked away towards a tree on the front lawn of the house we were in front of and he leaned against that tree and stayed there…even after the bus pulled away to head to school.

That bully did not go to school that day because I humiliated him and put him in his place. And he no longer bullied anybody else from that point on.

Word got out about what I did and I become somewhat of a folk hero. It gave me a reputation that I am not to be messed with.

From that point on a certain confidence was embedded in me that, I feel, threw up a bully force field of a sort. But any bully that did try to break that force field was just stared down by me and backed away.

I feel it's important, if at all possible for the bullied to take care of the bullies themselves, because adult authorities will and can only do so much.

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